The Walking Dead: "What Happened and What's Going On" Review

The Walking Dead - Andrew Lincoln as Rick GrimesWelcome back Walking Dead. This winter hiatus has been forevvver, but the show comes roaring back with a costly episode for The Grimes Gang as they say farewell to one of its mainstays.

Season 5 got off to a fantastic start with the quick resolution of the Terminus subplot, then stumbled a bit with Beth at Mercy General. As the second half of the season gets underway tonight’s episode proved that the rest of the ride will be anything but predictable.

The episode kicks off like a hazy memory as we’re seeing a series of unrelated images flashing across the screen. Most disturbingly among these images is the now very deceased Lizzie and Mika telling someone it’s all better now. Second most ominous sign? The gang is burying someone and we’re not immediately shown Beth suggesting that Rick’s lost another friend. Breathe easy those of y’all worrywarts. It’s not Daryl.

The walking dead - what happened and what's going on - MichonneLooking to fulfill Beth’s last wish, Rick, Tyrese, Michonne and Glenn drive Noah back to his home in Richmond. When last he left, Noah’s neighborhood was well fortified against walkers. Regular folks? Maybe not so much as the gated community is no longer flush with well manicured lawns and a pool, but burned houses and walker carcasses.

Noah is inconsolable, but Tyrese tries his best. Rick and the others scavenge for supplies leaving Tyrese to race after Noah once he decides he’s ready to see what happened to his family.

More of the random images shown in the opening flash back suggesting things are going to go very badly for one of these five. And based on one of those visions, the victim seems obvious.

Once again Tyrese’s lack of killer instinct in this new world comes back to bite him. This time literally. He hears Noah’s now Walker brother aroused by the scent of fresh blood and doesn’t go in to kill the potential threat — the same threat who comes in from another door and gnaws out a chunk of his arm.

Noah saves him, but the damage may already be done. While Noah runs to get Rick and company, Tyrese is visited by some old … friends. One by one, Bob, Mika, Lizzie, Beth and even The Governor (!) appear. But the most impactful visits Tyrese gets is from Martin, the Terminus scout he didn’t kill when he had the chance, who led Gareth and his crew to Camp Grimes and Bob’s leg.

This worked so much better than Rick’s weird hallucinations of Lori and was a great way to bring back some of the more memorable characters we’ve lost lately.

The Walking Dead - TyreseMichonne is nearing her breaking point and wants to find some place they can just have the illusion of safety. Noah’s neighborhood isn’t an option after they spy walkers littered at the rear gate with their upper torsos missing. Rick is on board with her suggestion of heading to D.C., but Noah’s screams table that discussion.

Once they rescue Noah from another pack of walkers, they try to save Tyrese by chopping off his arm. The path back to the car and fighting off walkers takes too much time and Tyrese has one last vision of riding in a car with Beth, Bob and the girls knowing it’s all going to all be better now leading to Tyrese’s funeral in a very well executed segment.

Looking back at some of his decisions since he’s been on the series, it’s a wonder Tyrese made it this long. He was too good a man for the madness that surrounded him so it makes sense that Tyrese had just been worn down and didn’t have any fight left in him.

Thanks to the winter hiatus, Tyrese’s death had a lot more impact that it normally would have the week after Beth’s death. The Grimes camp had gotten too big though and the attrition probably shouldn’t be done this week. And geesh has this season not been kind to Sasha!

Very solid way to kick off the second half of this season. But how will they top this cameo packed outing next week?